Town Crew Will Depend More On Sod and Less on Seed to Keep the Green Green
It’s a real challenge for the town’s operations crew to keep the Village Green, green! Their regularly scheduled attempts to fertilize, irrigate, and aerate the public plot can be thwarted by the weather or numerous events that leave it browned and trampled from concert goers, art festivals, Town Day, and all manner of Saturday morning fundraisers races. “That poor Green takes such a beating,” said Jesse Bouk, operations supervisor for the Town of Davidson. “We fight the same battles every year.”
Bouk said the annual effort to keep the Green green begins with the Christmas in Davidson festival. If those three evenings are rain-free, the grass survives and becomes a good base for proper fertilization, aeration, irrigation, and rye grass overseeding for the winter. However, Bouk said that if the festival weather is rainy—as it was last December—the soil gets churned into mud that hardens and provides a poor base for grass to grow.
This year, the crew is trying a new approach. They have laid down an experimental 45 x 17 foot patch of Bermuda grass sod toward the back of the Green and protected it with stakes, police tape, and signs reading “Turf Renovation In Progress; Please Stay Off.”
Green-goers have respected the barriers, and the sod patch has taken root and grown into a thick, lush, green carpet of healthy grass since it was laid down in mid-May. That’s in contrast to the brown, scraggly grass that event goers have beaten down on the rest of the Green.
In fact, the sod has done so well that Bouk and crew plan to use sod rather than seed as a basis for keeping the Green green in the future. Following the Band of Oz concert on June 9, they will remove the “keep off” stakes on the original patch and lay down another patch in a heavily trampled area in front of the patio. No public events are scheduled on the Green until July 4, which should give the second patch time to set. As time goes on, Bouk plans to install sod in all areas of the Green that are subject to heavy use.
Bill Giduz was the son who followed his father’s footsteps into journalism. He has been involved his entire life with news and photography in schools he attended and jobs he’s held. He believes now that he’s got a few good years left to devote to The News of Davidson.